Complete with sniffles, fevers and coughs, we’re just now beginning to recover from the madness that was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Over the course of 11 days, myself, Peter Sciretta and David Chen were all over Park City, Utah watching films, writing, talking to stars, meeting our fellow bloggers and watching more films. Personally I saw 36 films over 11 days so I feel like I have a good perspective on the festival as a whole.

The general consensus is that this was one of the best Sundance’s in a long time, with about a huge number of films acquiring distribution in comparison to previous years. And while I think the overall quality was incredibly high, there were only a handful of films that stood out above the rest. Most of the 36 films I saw were middle of the pack. Well-made, entertaining, thought-provoking, but ultimately not as exciting as one might hope. Only a select few stood out as the best, or worst.

To try and let the cream of the crop rise to the top, we’ve gone ahead and picked out or favorite, and least favorite, films of the Sundance Film Festival. Read all our lists after the jump. Read More »

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SXSW Film Festival Announces 2011 Features Lineup

The South by Southwest Film Festival has announced their features lineup for the 2011’s Festival, which will take place March 11th to the 19th in Austin Texas. Read the full press release after the jump.

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On the final Sunday of Sundance, most of the theaters in town show the films that won awards the night previous. I’d already seen the US Dramatic and US Audience award winners, regularly the two most prestigious handed out, so as my final film of Sundance 2011, I watched the US Documentary winner called How To Die In Oregon. Directed by Peter D. Richardson, the film explores the Oregon law that allows for physician assistant suicide. From its unforgettable opening to its equally unforgettable climax, How To Die In Oregon is a somewhat balanced, but incredibly personal and emotional documentary that you won’t soon forget. Read More »

The announcement of the movies playing the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is like looking into our film futures. It’s December and most movie fans are looking back at the last 12 months, picking out award winners, writing top ten lists, and chances are we haven’t even heard of the Sundance films. They’re just titles, people, words on a computer screen. Then in January they unspool on screens across Park City, Utah and become something more. Finally, months later, these are the movies we discuss with our friends and choose on ballots at awards parties. Yet we get to read about them now, a year in advance.

Last year at this time, who had heard of Four Lions, Catfish, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, Winter’s Bone, Restrepo or Animal Kingdom? Sundance, that’s who. All those films screened at the 2010 festival and now many have become not only personal favorites, but critical darlings and award contenders too.

Wednesday, Sundance announced the 58 films eligible for awards in four categories that will play the 2011 festival, taking place January 20-30. The 57 out-of-competition films in six additional categories will be announced Thursday. After the jump, we’ll give you the full list as well as highlight five in each category that sound particular promising. Read More »

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